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Opinions of Monday, 7 November 2011

Columnist: Amponsah, Jerry

Atta Mills runs Ghana’s education into the abyss!!!

One thought he is a renowned teacher-turned-president – with
a successful background in public education – leading his nation to champion
the cause of “Education.” Indeed, it’s proven otherwise.

Yes. He is a long-life teacher, but it is not actually
manifesting in his presidency – and ruling with hesitation and uncertainty. Who
suffers? Students, parents, and the nation at large.

NDC government wants to change the country for “better,” and
now they have – breeding SHS-ready children on the hotly and dangerous

Atta Mills’s presidency is a crucial time and tailor-made
opportunity for him to have turned things around positively irrespective of
where his predecessor left it. The steady downward decline of the students’
pass rate, however, defines him.

When the poorest and the most disappointed B.E.C.E. results
was released, the nation expected the “professor” president to put his best
foot forward, make a public statement, and take the necessary action – even though
he lacks vision. Unfortunately, he’s unconcerned; secretly swept the
fact-filled development under the carpet – with the thought that the majority
of the people are illiterates and dummies just like the failed B.E.C.E.
students. He’s gently shoved it off in an I-don’t-care attitude, thinking
nobody is watching; leaving the entire nation to worry about it. But this is
simplicity for Atta Mills to handle. This hostile cash-rich government
look-away is highly pathetic – mafia style.

The massive failure of the basic level students has left
many concerned Ghanaians stunned.

The quality of Ghana’s basic education is
plummeting. According to a senior
fellow, “figures from the West African Examinations Council (W.A.E.C.) show
that the pass-rate of students who sat for the Basic Education Certificate
Examination has been on a constant downward decline since 2009. In sum, out of
the total number of 1,121,817 students who sat for the B.E.C.E. in the past
three years, 574,688 failed to achieve the pass mark.” The 2011 “action year”
B.E.C.E. results of students are the worst results since 1998. Out of the
375,280 students who sat for the 2011 examination, 199,152 – representing 53.1%
- students failed miserably.

Ghanais propounding illiteracy in the
twenty-first century under the “eagle watch” of the “professor” president. Indeed,
this is a damning trend and highly unacceptable in every society that holds
education in a very high esteem.

His political followers keep touting “Professor” as if
President Atta Mills is the only Professor in the country – yet no one sees him
as a role model. He’s leading the people into an extreme academic jeopardy. He
gives no budge. The main man of the country feels no remorse and shame of the
consistent failure of the country’s students since he assumed the highest seat
of the land. He’s even not bothered to show serious concern over the recent
absurd disgrace of the B.E.C.E. results – a “father-for-all” president, indeed.
He cares less about the pains, agonies, and hardships the student victims and their
parents go through because of the awful results. Somebody should be held

The “I careless” president was rather busy and itching to
commission streets to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of failed students
to land them into the “dog” chains business and other related primitive trades.
Does he have any feelings for these vulnerable and innocent future leaders? The
nation’s president remains reluctant in the face of an extreme national crisis
as if he lives on a different planet far from his own people.

With a reported sum of over $50 million spent on the mega
Sunyani NDC Congress to get him reelected to lead another four more years of
doom whereas educational funding is highly slashed.

God save your people!

One’s heart goes out to the student victims and parents who
are the most sufferers of this irrational predicament.

In this twenty-first century, how could a developing nation
develop without paying serious attention to key foundation of its development –
Education? We’ve failed as a nation to realize that, partly, it’s the function
of education to help the children escape, not from their own time, for they’re
heavily bound by that, but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of
their own time.

Ask yourself, how are we preparing our dear young chaps for
the ever-challenging tomorrow? We all agree that education is the ultimate
passport for the children’s future.

It will do Ghana
good if the present leader directs his loud parrots and their unwarranted rhetoric
into the classrooms to teach. Such efforts may save lives and resources.

In this highly competitive modern world, Ghana needs a
visionary, results-oriented commander in chief who can pick the bull by the horn
and lead from the front, compete with the rest of the world, and bring home

It’s sad to find the president sitting too high in the
comforts of Osu Castle
– and cooling off with the breeze of the Atlantic Ocean
–, looking at the realities on the ground unconcerned making it seems that the
nation’s academic proficient is trifling. Once a celebrated teacher, he now
sees no relevance in education. Today, great men and women of our tomorrow are
dumped onto the peril streets with no employable skills. What sort of nation
are we building? President Mills is governing as if the country has no
tomorrow. We see a country that is academically polarized whiles the president
is sleeping over the job – and remains largely unmoved.

In shame, the Mills-Mahama government piles lie on records
of the physical development of Ghana’s
education (eradication of “schools under trees”) without sense of looking
deeply into the development of the human resources. The reason is clear: The
victims don’t vote!

The NDC government is speeding the country of high
potentials into a deep ditch. Are we sitting down, arms folded, for the
developed countries to zoom up this clear crisis currently living with us?

President Mills rushed to the areas that were heavily hit by
the bucketing downpour, only to use it as a fine platform to test the waters of
his popularity – yet, he’s strongly refused to take the nation’s education out
of the storm – he sent it into – with the same alacrity.
The NDC government is too loud and it’s time it stop, and
listen to all the Ghanaian people as it zeroes the national education into the
abyss – and nailing the children’s potential.

Instead of the government to offer a turnkey system for the
children – through education, our young innocent children are now coming out to
face this already tough world with no hope and certainty. What await them are
the stubbornly high social vices our society is already facing with no success.
What the NDC government has failed to realize is that if you close a school door,
you open that of a prison!

Jerry Amponsah (Sabbato)
Communication Directorate
NPP-New York